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Wildfire Near Palm Springs Is 'National Priority'

As a blaze that's already burned more than 23,000 acres draws within about two miles of Palm Springs, Calif., officials are saying it's atop the U.S. Forest Service's list of wildfires that need to be fought.

"We are the national priority right now," U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Jeanne Pincha-Tulley told reporters Thursday.

Eyder reported earlier Thursday that about 6,000 people in and around the resort town of Idyllwild have already been evacuated because of the fire. The blaze began on Monday. About 3,000 firefighters are now on the scene, and the fire is about 15 percent contained, according to InciWeb. Several homes have been destroyed, but so far there are no reports of deaths or serious injuries.

The Los Angeles Times says "it's unclear if the weather forecast for the next couple of days will help or hurt the cause. Near Idyllwild, temperatures are expected to stay in the 90s through Friday before cooling off. More moisture and possibly rain could help firefighters, but that also means thunderstorms."

Our colleagues at Southern California Public Radio are following the news closely, including on a special "Fire Tracker" Web package. NPR's national "Fire Forecast" interactive graphic is here.

Also Thursday, NPR's Christopher Joyce reported on how: "Wildfires Will Worsen, And Further Strain The Forest Service."

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Anne Tyler: "A Spool Of Blue Thread" (Rebroadcast)

In her first live radio interview ever, Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Tyler joins Diane to talk about her 20th novel, "A Spool of Blue Thread."


Fine Brine From Appalachia: The Fancy Mountain Salt That Chefs Prize

An artisanal salt producer is processing brine from ancient ocean deposits below West Virgina's mountains. The company, J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, ships to top chefs who value the salt's minerality.

Downed Russian Warplane Highlights Regional Divide On Syria

Hugh Pope, director of communications and outreach at the International Crisis Group in Brussels, explains the growing divide between Turkey and Russia on their priorities inside Syria.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

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